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January 3, 2013

DePaul Loses Big East Opener

DePaul opened Big East conference play with a tough loss to Seton Hall at the All State Arena Wednesday night, losing 73-72. DePaul had a chance at the last possession, but Donnavan Kirk couldn't convert the tip-in at the buzzer. Jamee Crockett led DePaul with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Junior guard Brandon Young chipped in 15 points and 5 rebounds.

Pivotal Moment: With 30 seconds left in the game and DePaul nursing a 72-71 lead, Young committed a turnover at mid-court. It led to a layup by Fuquan Edwin with seven seconds left in the game, giving Seton Hall the 73-72 lead. DePaul got a clear look at the basket with four seconds left, but Crockett's three rimmed out.

Key Stats: Seton Hall's 1st Half 3 Point Shooting/DePaul's Free Throw Shooting/Second Half Rebounding. Seton Hall came into the gaming making 38% of its three point attempts and 8.6 threes per game. But against DePaul, the Pirates went off in the first half. Seton Hall made 7 of 12 of its three pointers in the first half, with five different players connecting with a three. Aaron Cosby was particularly lethal for the Pirates, finishing with 15 first half points. He made 3 of 5 of his three point attempts in the first half, and made 4 of 7 overall.

DePaul's free throw woes continued, which were a main factor for their loss. The Blue Demons made 15 of 25 free throws, and missed six crucial free throws in the second half. In close games, DePaul will need to convert their free throws at a higher rate to close out and win games.

In addition to struggling from the free throw line, DePaul was outrebounded in the second half. Seton Hall won the battle on the boards in the second half, outrebounding DePaul 25 to 15. Seton Hall forward Eugene Teague dominated the boards, finishing with 15 rebounds for the game. But his work on the glass in the second half helped propel the Pirates to a victory. Teague hauled in 9 second half rebounds, 4 of which were offensive rebounds that led to second chance opportunities. Seton Hall had 15 points off of second chance opportunities for the game.

Key Matchup: Fuquan Edwin vs. Charles McKinney. McKinney drew the assignment of defending Seton Hall's top offensive threat Edwin, and he bothered him all night. Edwin finished with 11 points on 4 of 11 shooting and committed five turnovers. He came into the game averaging 18.2 points and shooting 53% from the field. But Edwin made the crucial basket to give Seton Hall its 73-72 lead, with McKinney defending him.

Next for DePaul: DePaul (9-5) plays its next Big East game on the road against Providence (8-5) Saturday night.

Notes:

Cleveland Melvin had his second consecutive game where he was limited to single digits in the scoring column. Melvin only had six points on 3 of 11 shooting from the field in 21 minutes of play. He never seemed to get into his offensive rhythm, especially with Seton Hall making him the focal point of their defense.

Durrell McDonald had his best game of his young career, even though he came off the bench. McDonald had started eight games in a row, but was a reserve against Seton Hall. It didn't faze him, rather, he embraced it and played as aggressive as he's played all season. McDonald scored 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the field in 20 minutes. He made his last five shots and played deep into the second half.


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